Bullet finishes like a shot

\"\"CAPTION: Talented sprinter Barcia Bullet wins the $5250 Bundaberg Derby  from Unencumbered and Off Break. (Photos: Uncle Rustys Photos)

Qld regional round-up by MIKE HILL

SMART Central  Queensland -trained sprinter Barcia Bullet landed his third feature success of the year with a powerful come-from-behind victory in the $5250 Bundaberg Derby (550m) last month.

The well-supported black sprinter ($1.50 fav)  looked to be in trouble early after missing the start and trailing the leading trio by six lengths going into the back straight.

Barcia Bullet still had work to do approaching the corner as he chased the leaders headed by the Lorraine Isles-prepared Unencumbered ($5.50).

Fortunately for favourite punters and the strong Darren Taylor kennel, Barcia Bullet secured a split between  runners on straightening and powered down the outside for a length-and-a-half victory.

Unencumbered held on for second with another Taylor runner Off Break ($5) three-quarters of a length away third.

Barcia Bullet\’s Derby win followed victories in the Bundaberg and Rockhampton Grand Prix series mid-year.

\”He\’s a good sprinter,\” said Taylor. \”It was a real good win.

\”He\’s a strong dog and bred to go over 700m.\”

The leading trainer said he was finding it extremely difficult securing suitable races for the exceptionally well-bred black chaser (Barcia Bale-Mepunga Fame).

\”There are not too many top grade dogs racing up here and it\’s hard to place him,\” he said.

Taylor said he would consider taking Barcia Bullet to Townsville later in the year for the rich North Queensland Cup (498m) but in the meantime he may have to look at \’taking him to town\’.

The talented chaser already has a win (30.15s) over the 520m at Albion Park and a couple of promising runs over 600m.

And then later in the month he did go to town, adding to his impressive record with a strong victory over the Albion Park 600m journey in 35.44s.

It lifted his stats to 21 wins and 11 placings from 60 starts with earnings over $52,000.

Taylor, who tries to have 18 dogs in work at all times, is having another top year and is currently in the running to possibly win both the Rockhampton and Bundaberg trainer\’s premierships.

Last month he was leading at Bundy and was second behind Andrew Suli at Rocky.

\”It\’s very unusual for a trainer up here to win the premiership at two clubs,\” he said.

\”I can\’t remember it ever happening.

\”I\’d love to win both titles.

\”My wife and son are pushing for me to have a go.

\”It would be an unbelievable feat to achieve, but we will be rotating some dogs in coming weeks.

\”I\’ve got some nice youngsters coming through.

\”We\’ll just have to wait and see.\”

Taylor admitted he did set targets for his operation at the beginning of each year.

\”Last year one of our targets was to lead in 100 winners – we did that.

\”This year our target is to rug up 108 winners  and keep our strike rate at 20 per cent (winners) and 50 per cent (placings).\”

With a combined win tally of 82 so far, Team Taylor is well on target to achieve its goal.

\”I think we can do it if the team stays sound,\” he said.

The kennel  has landed 37 winners at Bundaberg, 34 at Rockhampton and 11 at Albion Park and its strike rate is above target (Bundaberg: 26%, 55%; Rockhampton: 21%, 50%; Albion Park 21%, 43%).


MEANWHILE, outstanding North Queensland sprinter Excuse Me Jack was back to his best with an impressive victory in last month\’s $5250 Townsville Derby (498m).

It came just over a week after the Harold Hovi youngster (My Redeemer-Fancy Dancer) finished a somewhat unlucky third to Dulceria in the Townsville Cup.

Excuse Me Jack ($2.30 fav) clocked another smart 28.60s to win the Derby by three-quarters of a length from the Scott Atkinson-prepared Canya Go Wild ($4.50) with Rhonda Essery\’s Stratford ($2.40) one-and-a-quarter lengths away third.

It  was Hovi\’s second Derby success, he was triumphant with Fanatic in 2019.

\”I was more than happy with the win,\” the Gumlu-based  trainer said.

\”I\’m happy with all his runs.\”

And so he should be.

The victory pushed Excuse Me Jack \’s record to 13 wins and two placings from just 16 starts and lifted his earnings above $30,000.

Hovi admitted he\’d received offers to have the dog \’trained down south\’ but had refused them.

\”I\’m not interested in him going away,\” he said.

\”I\’m enjoying racing him.

\”I may never get another one as good as him.

\”They\’re hard to come by.\”


THE John Kuhn-trained Talking Numbers again showed her liking for the Bundaberg grass with a strong win in last month\’s $5250 Oaks (550m).

The blue brindle bitch (Thirty Talks-Dark Casio) has landed six of her eight career wins in Queensland, her last five all at Bundy.

She was an impressive heat winner at big odds ($41) a week earlier running a super 31.27s, but she had to do it tough in the final.

Settling mid-field down the back straight, Talking Numbers ($5) gradually made progress on the leaders before grabbing the Ricky Hassall-prepared frontrunner Baronga Breeze ($7.50) close to home, winning by three-quarters of a length.

John White\’s Bro\’s Girl ($3.40 fav) finished two-and-a-quarter lengths back third.


MEANWHILE, the speedy  Daysea\’s Trish continued her impressive record over the shorter courses with a highly impressive win in the $5250 Rockhampton Young Guns (407m) early last month.

The Norma Dacey-trained Paw Licking-Dayseas Astra black bitch – a $5 chance -jumped quickly from box seven and once she crossed the field she was always going to be hard to catch.

In fact, she led all the way beating the Henry Parker-prepared Bogie Bandit ($3.90) by two-and-a-half lengths with Adam McIntosh\’s Celeana ($13) another length-and-a-quarter back third.

The winner clocked a best-of-night 23.74s and has since continued on her winning way with a double over the Albion Park 395m again in BOM times.

Her record, last month, stood at nine wins and four placings from just 16 starts.



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